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Intimate Settings

Your character is set, their tragic life is just getting started, and you understand all about being a supporting actor; now it's time to turn toward creating a dramatic atmosphere. When talking about Setting we need to consider both the campaign setting and individual scenes. The campaign setting is there to set the general themes of the drama, while individual scenes provide space for each character to show off their feelings about the world around them, and to indicate how the story affects them.

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Sit Back and Enjoy the Popcorn

Dramatic characters require dramatic scenes, often spotlighting one or two PCs or NPCs, but how do we do this when games are designed to be a group effort? It’s simple: just learn to let someone else be the star for a bit. This isn’t a new idea, so let’s go through some of the methods you can use to help your friends bring their characters to the forefront.

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Role Playing Drama vs. Mechanics

The above guidelines give us some key things to shoot for when creating a dramatic character, but of course the real question is how to play one. Many of us act dramatically in our games accidentally, but few of us plan for it or do it on purpose. If one is encouraged to take improv classes (as some do to learn how to respond to assorted challenges in gaming), we shouldn’t ignore dramatics. Most of us have some ideas about what drama is, but these ideas are often limited to the exaggerated, black-vs-white tropes of melodrama.

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Creating Dramatic Characters

Previously we talked about creating character backgrounds, and we even tried our hand at focusing on secondary attributes to create multi-dimensional characters. In today's blog entry I want to go more in-depth, looking at the mechanics of a dramatic character.

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Sports in Games

From the Ancient Olympics to the “Three Manly Skills” of the Huns―have played an important role in numerous civilizations. Since this is the case, why do we not see these in our fiction and role-playing settings? There have been a few attempts at sports-based RPG games like World Wide Wrestling or XXXX Extreme Street Luge, but very few sports are ever mentioned in non-Earth settings. This is a shame, because a good sport brings out many of the same opportunities as murder-hoboing―but without all the murdering!

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What Gets Me Mad about Actual Plays

Over the last few years I have replaced my weekend Netflix video binging with AP watching, so I am becoming very familiar with AP (“Actual Play”) tropes. While there are a few different types, such as studio shows vs remote games, the ones that totally annoy me are the viewer participation types. Some people may tell me I'm wrong, but hey: this is my March Madness, and my soapbox.

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The Best Offense is a Good Defense

I generally avoid talking about specific game systems, but recently I started a D&D 5E game and I have some experience that can help you in building characters. In one short game, I had our monk character go up against a friendly monk NPC in a fighting match. During the fight the PC had an ability to cause disadvantage and no matter what I tried, I could barely hit the PC. This allowed the PC to overcome the superior NPC―and could allow you to do the same. First, let's do a quick review.

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March Madness

I had this great theme for March. An off the cuff blog. I am I would talk about sports and madness all rolled up in one but life got mad. One of my family members got real sick/injured and I have spent a lot of my free time in the hospital. The job front as you know if you hold down a part time job with near full time hours is hetict. In short March has been really well mad. We have finished the first full edit of Asteria Rising at the end of February early March I do not remember. Now it's time for some development editing.

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Relating to the World

Throughout this blog I have stressed the role of Players becoming more proactive when it comes to developing the setting of their world. One of the key ways to do this is to understand how they interact with the world. In “The Power to Name,” we talked about the power to control your own background relationships. This time we'll talk about the rest of the setting. NPCs are often played in a conflicting manner: either directly as enemies or as “Hostile Witnesses,” as many GMs tend not to want to give the milk away for free.

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The Gaming Group

As I started to write section, the old Mr. Roger’s song, “Who are the People in your Neighborhood? came to mind, but in this case it was “Who are the People in the Gaming Group?” For some of us they are just acquaintances, but they are often our best friends and loved ones; and let's not forget our “frienemies”―for they too inhabit our neighborhood.

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